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>> today chuck hagel, nominee for secretary of defense, began his confirmation hearings by running a mine field set by members of his own party beginning with senator james inhoff, republicans set their traps, some of which didn't even have the right bait. >> in 2001 you were one of four senators who refused to sign the letter supporting israel. are those accurate? >> i want to ask the letter that you just noted in your fifth point. what was the date in the letter? >> the date? >> you said i refused to sign a letter. >> it was october of 2001. >> a letter to? >> okay.
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skip that one. are the other ones true? >> it is fairly important. >> thinly vailed as an exploration of his foreign policy positions, the game was more gotcha than global strategy. >> but i'll -- >> sdeshs your judgment as to whether you were right or wrong about the search. >> i'll explain why i made those comments. >> i want to know if they were right or wrong. that's a direct question. i expect a direct answer. >> if you would like me to explain why. >> i actually would like an answer. yes or no. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no. i feel it's far more complicated than that. >> the nominee for defense secretary was reportedly asked to claire fews his hiss position on nuclear disarmament. it proved more an opportunity for senators inhoff and graham to show that he is in favor of immediate elimination of all nuclear weapons. chuck hagel wasn't having any of it. >> my position, some of the individuals national security leaders as senator nunn talked about, including himself, has never been unilateral
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disarmament. ever. never. we have over the years which i have supported the united states has led in reducing the efforts to reducing nuclear warheads. there was no more significant voice for that than ronald reagan. fwloo whether the hearings end up revealing any hint as to chuck hagel's actual plans for american defense remains tbd. joining me, i mean, is msnbc political analyst and executive editor of richard wolf. always good to see you, my friend. >> credits, meantime. really? >> i have to throw it in there. there's a few minutes after eastern standard. i want to go to you first on this. the hearings are ongoing. insofar as we can issue a judgment, it will be one with an asterick, but i guess from the outset, from what we have seen thus far from the sound that we played, my question is this really a hearing or is this a
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trial for positions chuck hagel once took that are counter to now the republican party and where it stands on national security issues? >> well, i think these hearings have become about the politics of national security. the big issues that divide republicans and democrats. the surge is one of them. this is the great action that george bush took in the minds of republicans that the president obama opposed, vice president biden opposed, and obviously chuck hagel opposed. they like to think the republicans that the surge surgery seeded, and there is some evidence that the surge did contribute for reasonable outcome in iraq, and it wouldn't have been that hard for chuck hagel to say, well, it may have contributed to things, but we won't know about the success of iraq for many, many decades. he is playing it tough as well. he is not going to give the republicans the benefit of winning one of these politics of foreign policy debates. same with iran. during the campaign romney took the hard line position most of
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the way until the end when he softened up a little bit on iran, suggesting that if he had been president, that he would move very quickly towards the use of force. many people have questions about that. chuck hagel has questions about it. the president has questions about it. many americans wonder whether, you know, we should be too itchy to go ahead and bomb iran before we've explored diplomatic outcomes or raise questions about what would happen afterwards. these are the big issues. iran, should we use force? iraq, did the surge work? what the republicans are doing is trying to undermine something they really got frustrated by, which is that in this last campaign for the first time in modern memory, the democrats appeared to have an edge on national security over republicans, and they are trying to chippewa at that edge, and they will continue to do it during the coming years in the hopes that some day they can win back their perceived advantage in national security. >> i thought that point was very
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much born out in john mccain's questioning, which is give me a yes or no answer, was the iraq surge a good idea? yoovl, it's a nuanced position. a yes or a month. it's a way of john mccain scoring a point for himself and also undermining chuck hagel's credibility. richard, the question is when you watch that exchange, does that work in terms of re-establishing republican bonefieds on foreign policy? >> look, john mccain has a lot of things going on. you know, he is losing relevance. he has lost some powerful positions in the senate. he has always played in the media space, right? the really curious actually compelling personal piece of this is that he and chuck hagel were friends. they campaigned together when he was on the effect paid in 2000. they were mavericks together against the establishment, and these two men have fallen apart dramatically, spectacularly in a way that john mccain does.
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when john mccain and actually john kerry were working on normalization on the p.o.w., m.i.a. question, john mccain almost came to blows with someone in his own party, with chuck grassley in iowa. he is volatile, temperamental. you have not just the relitigation of everything wered vietnam between these two people who served there, but the relitigation about iraq, which is what's worse, opposing the surge or proposing the colossal mistake of invading iraq in the first place? so there's a lot that's packed into a yes or no. tell me what you really think as well as obviously you're losing an election against the president and wanted to mess with him. mccain's psychodrama is face naturing, but it's not really about foreign he policy or defense policy. >> the mccain psychodrama extends to other members. the psychodrama extendstory members of the senate foreign relations committee. lindsey graham. this is lindsey graham yesterday on fox talking about -- let's
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just play the sound. >> the one thing i'm not going to do is vote on a new secretary of defense until the old secretary of defense, leann panetta, who i like very much, testifies about what happened in benghazi. i haven't forgotten about benghazi. hillary clinton got away with murder. >> there you go. hillary clinton got away with murder, and we are going to hold chuck hagel effect tily his nomination hostage until we get our clearance. >> the thing is, as i think you'll see -- as the hagel hearings go on, as you saw in the lindsey graham line, there is an attempt to manufacture more divisiveness within the congress as regards though national security policy. with regard to other realms where there are disagreements in washington, i think we haven't seen a consensus really like this in many years, so we'll have to bring benghazi up again. we have to talk about whether the surge worked or not six years ago. those issues for people, the public listening, sht going to have huge traction. >> no, but there is something
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aside from the style debate and obvious political posturing that comes into play here. in what mccain said is an important question. you took this position. you had this belief at that time when the surge was in play. do you think you're right or wrong? the way he asked it and try to force him into a soundbyte yes or no answer, that's not helpful really when you are trying to get at a nominee's judgment and trying to see whether he thinks it's right or wrong about an important foreign policy question is i think a legitimate issue. i don't think that's true. if you go on and listen to what he said in the rest of that answer it was a nuanced response, and there we saw good judgment, not only in how we reacted, but what hagel had to say. >> i thought haag elt was strong
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in a lot of these. a lot of these were gotcha questions, and i think he was fatherly -- >> i'm not sure why he didn't say exactly what jamie said he could have said about that. yes, as it turned out, when we were in the middle of this war with the surge led to a better outcome than it would have otherwise, but. he could have just gotten rid of it. he could have said, look, a lot of things were going on at that time. the sunnis decided fight on our side against al qaeda. the ethmick cleansing had already taken place. the war was in its final phase, and, yes, the surge contributed to one of many factors to a decent outcome at the end, but whether iraq was worth tshg as you put it, whether all the negatives, the tremendously yon dollars, the deaths of americans, the benefits to iran and iraq was worth it is a whole different question, and turned
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it around. a lot of politicians have had trouble with the surge question. >> you just said it better than any of them. >> you should be up there testifying. the one thing that -- before we go. i thought this was a really important piece that is getting overlooked. politico writes there is one main job on his resume, hagel's. politician. for hagel that's the problem. the pentagon has seen its share of men who triumphed on the ballot and got gobbled up in one of the world's biggest bureaucracies where political skills are helpful but not as much as sheer organizational or budgetary mastery. this is coming -- >> the republican party of, i don't know, a year ago would have said here's a ceo type. isn't that what you need in a sprawling bureaucracy where the bloated budget needs to be wrestled to the ground? i don't know what the rights are getting at and i don't understand why -- i understand there's the personal drama, and
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that's maybe why he couldn't ask the question as fluidly as you could. you know, what are the objection says here? is it about iran? they want to know is he iffing to invade or not? >> i think the question is, as we are looking at sequestration and looking at massive defense cuts that are with a meat clever and somebody needs to do them with an exacto knife -- i don't know if such a thing is possible -- go ahead. >> there is a question here, and it is a tough one. the pentagon, the secretary of defense job is probably the single most difficult job in washington. you have multiple constituencies. you have very complex issues, and right now you have a moment when this budget that survives by growing is now under threat, and so what the questioner really means is this is a very difficult job. you not only have to view your defense expert, but have you to have the political skills to deal with congress. you have to know how to deal with the uniform military, and that's the part where i think chuck hagel will have a big advantage over many others, from
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having served in the military. they will give him a deference that really civilians don't understand from his time many vietnam, that will give him a leg up many dealing with generals who at the time are working in vietnam and serving in vietnam the way he was. the pentagon job is extremely hard. he has many of the skills that you need, politician, defense, foreign policy expert, former soldier, but that doesn't mean he is going to succeed. let's take an example. gates, who is considered one of the more successful secretaries of defense, and, you know, he had served in the national security bureaucracy for 40 years, and he was successful in taming it, many working with it, and working with both parties, but what the questioner really means but won't admit, this is a very, very tough job. there are no perfect skills for it. some work more successfully based on other skills. it's going to be a tough job. cutting budgets m pentagon is very, very, very difficult. >> jamie ruben, always speaks
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the truth. thank you for joining, as always. >> okay. >> thank you for your expertise. >> after the competent -- after the break -- after the economy. after the break, the economy can transfer for the first time since the start of president obama's first term, and congressional republicans are quick to point the finger, except it was some of those very same lawmaker who's played a hand in the downturn. we will look at the new normal next on "now." [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes? just begin with america's favorite soups. bring out chicken broccoli alfredo. or best-ever meatloaf. go to
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yesterday the commerce department reported that the u.s. economy shrank for the first time in three and a half
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years. down .1%. amid the kind of gloom, economists weren't screaming fiscal armageddon. many said the report had mainly good news. the top analyst at capital economics wrote, "rankly, this is the best-looking contraction in gdp you'll ever see. it definitely doesn't indicate that the economy is plunging headlong into another recession." barclays wrote "we would suggest caution in reading the very weak headline gdp number as a true loss of momentum." this positive outlook is perhaps because of the drivers of the contraction were largely avoidable. the defense department was cut by more than 22%. the largest drop in 40 years. mad, companies were slower to restock their shelves. likely due to uncertainty surrounding the fess cal cliff. these two areas caused a combined 2.6% drop in gdp, and consumer spending which accounts for 70% of the u.s. economy and is a barometer of economic health rose by 1.5%. fixed investment and things like housing also rose more than a
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percent. the white house is using the occasion to illustrate the dangerous effects of high stakes political games and looming spending cuts. >> talk about letting the sequester kick in, as though that were an acceptable thing belies where republicans were on this issue not that long ago, and it makes clear, again, that this is political brinksmanship of the kind that results in one primary victim, and that's american taxpayers, the american middle class. >> and house republicans are using the occasion to illustrate the dangerous effects of high stakes political games and looming spending cuts. said house majority whip kevin mccarthy, today's report by the commerce department is a stark example of how political games in washington have real consequences on the lives of american families. joining the pam now is rona, assist wrant managing editor of time making sfwleen, and from washington the man with all the answers, cnbc's amman javers.
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i'm going to start with you. it seems, as usual that, we have a tomato-tomatoe conundrem on our hands. you would think this would weaken the argument made by the white house. on the other hand, it might strengthen their hand going into the debate over see quick rags? what is your debate? >> no matter how good-looking a contraction is, you still don't want to look at it. let's get past this idea this is the best looking contraction we've seen. it's a contraction, and that's never a good thing in economic terms. you don't want to see that. you're right. look, this number has aspects to it that give both sides the willies. the democrats don't like the headline number. they don't really want to talk about a contraction on president obama's watch. republicans aren't really comfortable with the idea that austerity -- that these big huge defense cuts and government spending cuts that we've seen can have a drag affect on the gdp going into the see sequester debate. both sides are uncomfortable with this number, and that's why we probably won't see it
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discussed for more than a news cycle or two. then we'll move on. >> affect show it's a kabarb. >> this is the very last time anybody will talk about this number in washington right here. >> we're making history. >> right. >> rona, the, sequestration debate, armageddon, whatever you want to call it, has been tossed around in a variety of different fashions, especially on the right because initially it was seen -- we cannot do this. defense cuts disproportionately hurt the gop, and, yet, now there is sort of maybe the sense that they will let sec west rags go ahead. mr. boehner says he has significant republican support, including gop defense hawks, on the side of letting the gop work. i got that in my back pocket. the speaker. >> well, you know, i'm going to go back to the chart that you showed the beginning of the segment here. this really is not a bad place for cuts to happen, and it's not a bad place to have a
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contraction, and, by the way, no serious economy it's is saying that we're going to go into a recession this year. i mean, the underlying economy is still pretty good, as you said. 70% consumer spending. consumer spending has been pretty robust. by the way, that's down to the fed, which has been propping up asset prices for the last few years. stocks, bonds, real estate, et cetera. so long the housing market is still up, construction is still up, and have you these underlying things coming look, we're going to be fine. i think the jobs numbers tomorrow will be interesting, and that's fwb toe telling, but i don't think that this is a contraction that's going to last the rest of the year. i would make the point, though, that cuts to any kind of government spending have an impact. >> right. >> it's interesting. i just came last week from world economic forum in davos in switzerland, and there the story -- >> you have all the answers for us. >> i have no answers, but i did a lot of talking. there was no action whatsoever. but the story there was really, you know, europe is just so beleaguered still because they've been following a program of cuts and austerity that isn't working, and that's a message that we really need to remember here at home.
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>> it's the -- jonathan, one of your colleagues at new york magazine has a great metaphor for this. he says the positive take on the economy is sort of like saying the knicks were winning by 20 points last night and they only lost because their assistant coach took over and decided play the rest of the game with just three players. that sounds comforting except the same assistant coach is still there, and he keeps saying his play three guy strategy will work. >> i love working in sports metaphors whenever possible. sfli feel most comfortable working in them. >> what he is saying in less colorful words is that though the election settled some things, obama is still president, there is still a tremendous muddle we're dealing with in washington that has a drag on the economy, while the economy, in large part, things seem to be moving in the right direction. there's still a lot of things that have to get solved in washington to propel it in the right direction. these numbers maybe in the specifics people weren't sure bshg but if you talk to mayors as i do regularly, as you talk
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to business leaders in new york and elsewhere, the fact that it was going to be a roughened of 2012 was no surprise. >> right. exactly. >> we've left out one important metric here, which is how did the markets react? the markets don't care. we're just still cruising up in a 14,000 accident practically dow jones index, and to the degree we care what the equities markets think of a slight contraction, they seem sanguin. >> it's true the markets are going up, but they are because the fed has been saying we're going to keep throwing money into the bond market. we're going to buy up mortgage-backed securities. that raises all asset prices. that doesn't change the underlying growth dynamic in this country, and at some point those lines enter sect. at some point unless you have real growth in the economy, corporations can't keep making money. >> the markets are off because of corporate profits chshgs are doing spectacularly well. >> they're starting to contract. they have done very well for the last three or four years, but this last quarter, we've seen
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the first contraction. i actually think that we're at that crossing point soon. >> i have to ask you, in addition to calling attention to the immunity or lack thereof in the markets, visa vi the fiscal cliff, and whether or not we actually all going to be living under one version of the fiscal cliff for the foreseeable future, which is a terrifying concept. not a trustworthy source, andrew ross sorkin. >> wait a second. he works for cnbc, you snn. >> he does? >> yeah. >> i'm kidding. the thing about today is that it does take the message off of the white house talking points and the issues at the moment, which are immigration and gun control. reince priebus has said priorities are backwards. now, agree generally or disagree with reince preibus, it does bring the conversation back to
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jobs, and that's not something the president habz talking about. >> the white house sort of had the economy in this box after the election where everyone sort of assumed that it was a tepid roer, but it was a recovery over the next four years. things would probably improve over the course of obama's term. this number calls that into question, and that's not good for the white house. they were ready to move on to some of these legacy issues. they wanted to talk about twunz. they wanted to talk about immigration. they don't want to go back and refight the fights of 2009 and 2010 all over again, so for them this is a real unwelcome distraction and for republicans it's an opportunity to poke the president m nose, which is something they enjoy doing. the question is does it change anything politically in washington, and here's why i think this is important. i don't think that it does, or at least not yet. i think we're still cruising toward the opportunity for both sides to link arms and jump over the sequester cliff on march 1 it's. i think the politics of that are getting increasingly likely as both sides say, hey, you know what, we can live with these spending cuts. we'll do it. it will be a drag on gdp, but not that much. we're prepared to have these
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cuts. republicans want the win, and democrats don't necessarily want to fight all over again on this and maybe threaten something on the debt ceiling, which for them would be worse. >> one of the things that hasn't changed since the republicans saying these job numbers are terrible. we're going to keep cutting medical they get even worse. >> so in terms of the big battle and any kind of possible grand bargain, you think that's over continuing resolution and budget numbers? >> yeah. well, i mean, the first thing that comes up time-wise, is on march 1st we have to deal with the sequester because the republicans reordered the way that these things are going to fall on the calendar. the sequester is those automatic spending cuts. billions -- tens of billions of dollars just this year in spending cuts. the republicans would like to have some kind of spending cut win this year, and that might be their only opportunity to get one, so you can see them hunkering in and saying, you know, we're going take the hit on defense spending cuts, but we're going to get spending cuts here by hook or by crook, and for democrats they might say, you know, we would rather lose this fight than have to do this all over again when it comes time to deal with the debt ceiling the next time, so let's
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lose here gracefully and then not lose on the debt ceiling where the outcome could be more disastrous for markets if we don't have a debt ceiling increase. if you have a sequester, it's going to be a problem for gdp over the course of the year. it's not going to be an immediate problem, i don't think, for markets if the government says, hey, we're going to cut tens of billions of dollars of spending right away. >> losing gracefully. what a concept. a concept. a concept. cnbc's amman javers. >> i'm great at losing gracefully. >> so am i. >> thank you for your insight and time. >> coming up from immigration to reproductive rights to fiscal krn. tea partiers have undermined the efforts of established republicans. who will win the great republican tug-of-war? we will discuss just ahead. twins. i didn't see them coming. i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligations.
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the so-called gang of eight has put forward aid bipartisan plan for immigration reform, but john stewart remains skeptical about the republican's motives. >> why the sudden change, republicans? perhaps you looked into your hearts and realized that people who are willing to risk prison or worse just to do our least fwlam refresh your recollections most dangerous work deserve at least a basic level of humanity? >> straight talk. look at the last election. look at the last election. we are losing dramatically the hispanic vote. >> okay. or that? that's another reason. mrekt calculation to squeeze out enough votes to make nevada competitive again. that's okay too. >> but will the gop really end up on the right side of history? we will talk grand ole problems next on "now." [ female announcer ] what does the anti-aging power of olay total effects plus the perfecting color of a bb cream equal? introducing the newest beauty trend. total effects cc cream c for color. c for correction.
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the washington post's dana millbank argues that the tea party may be losing some of is revellers. if the tea party isn't over, some of the more sensible partygoers are heading for the exits. as evidence, he points to bobby jindal's call to stop being the stupid party, and the push for immigration reform, and bob mcdonald's refusal to join in the gop electoral gerrymanderring in his own state. even fox news severed ties with sarah palin saying it wasn't worth $1 million a year to hear the mama grizzly roar. yet, while republicans with national ambitions might be rethinking their positions for a general, which is to say want entirely insane audience, the tea party's coo-co spirit is hardly the coast ghost of christmas past. in iowa gop officials admit leading berther, representative steve king, will in all likelihood be nir senate nominee in 2014. in georgia the two leading candidates to replace retiring senator saxby chambliss are phil
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and ob-gyn who said that todd akin was partly right about legitimate rape, and paul brown who says he believes president obama is presently upholding the soviet constitution and as a member of the house science committee had this to say about evolution. >> i've come to understand that all this stuff i was taught about evolution and embryology ask big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. >> naturally the tea party doesn't think it's dead. it thinks moderate republicanism is dead. >> we're celebrating the death of the establishment gop right along with them. yeah. i got a cake and hats and, like, party streamers and everything. >> so with each sign that the gop thinks the other side is dead, how best for the party to live on? according to possible zombie, possible human mad rat conservative david brooks, just split the body in half. it's probably future it to try
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to change current republicans. it's smarter to build a new wing of the republican party, one that can compete in the northeast, the mid-atlantic states, in the upper midwest, and along the west coast. this is really the only chance republicans have. oh, richard. >> oh, yes. are we going to talk about embryology and big bang theory. >> apparently from the pit of hell. >> the pits of hell corresponds. >> a big vertical on are we to quote from the national journal, which says the gop's latest challenge stopping the next todd akin. in many battleground states stepping forward are a bunch of gafe-prone candidates that are at risk of getting thumped in a general election. if this sounds like a broken record, it is. >> yes. so the national party, i think, is showing a little more good sense. let's face it. when you have the debt ceiling,
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the threat of default taken off the table, pretty much unilaterally, that's a good thing for let's call it the cause of sanity. but the national leadership such as it is is not in control of these primaries. you know, they've given the keys of their car to several not qualified to drive people for several years now, and what should have been a split, what should have been a splinter party, which would have died like the ross perot movement, like pat buchanan's primary supporters, they decided to say they were all one, and that's their problem. they should have allowed this to drift away, and it would have done, as the economy has picked up, and these movements are tip cal at times of economic hardship. remember that the tea party protests were not just talking about the president. they were talking about bail-outs. they didn't like tarp. which republicans voted for. there was a lot of economic griefance there, and that typically fuels these things. it would have gone away, but
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made a real strategic blunder. >> the question is -- i'm curious to know your thoughts on this. can they even excize that diseased limb? >> daily beast writes the rhino hunting in the national party has been disastrous in the northeast. the near total absence of elected republican federal representatives in new england is pretty -- is a pretty unmistakable sign of a brob. democrats now hold a massive majority of nonsouthern states. the gop has sort of isolated itself into these regions of the country where those kind of politics sell, which is to say tea party politics. >> there is a kind of soft de facto is hes eggs going on. i look back to positive years ago where after losing most of the last six presidential elections, the democratic party, some members, centrist members of the democratic party, joined
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the democratic leadership conference which was pivotal in moving the center of gravity to a nationally electable position. now, will the david brooks and the bobby jindahls and jeb bushes of the world really step out and do that kind of we really got to save our party thing? it seems to me there's a good chance that they might. >> i'm also interested too in the kind of underlying policy debate here because i think even if you got rid of the tea party, the republican party would have some real crisis points around economic policy. they don't really have a policy for an era in which all votes are not rising, and brooks made that point very well in his piece. you know, they oppose dodd frank, but they didn't have any ideas with how to clean up the football system. they oppose obama care, but there's no ideas about how to fix health. it's not extremists. it's this underlying where do we go when we're in a totally different economic era than in the past? >> which is not to say that they're always going to lose or they have no influence circling back to the hagel hearings.
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senator cruz from texas, you know, elected this fall largely out of the tea party movement. the gun -- the federal gun debate that's going on is being shaped in large part by people on both sides of congress. even some conservative center democrats are feeling that affect, and i think that's something you have to keep your eye on. >> look, when we talk about the most sensible wing of the republican party, there's a sense that they will win out on immigration reform, but now you are beginning to see some breaking in the ranks. congressman lou barletto writes anyone who mrooefz that they are -- or says anyone that beliefs they're going to win over the latino vote is grossly mistaken. the majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma wra. the republican party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. >> right. look, in less offensive perhaps more sophisticated terms. >> he won 58% of his district. >> he kind of has a point, which is that immigration alone is not going to win latino votes for
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republicans. now, i don't think that's because, you know, there is this whole takers philosophy. it's actually because democrats are speaking to latino priorities, and even more than immigration reform, latinos want good health care, better education, good jobs. let's just assume that he got to the right position, but all of his thinking before that was completely wrong and offensive. you know, republicans cannot think this is a simple transaction, and if they do they're not going to make it back to national power. the reason democrats embrace the policy change of the dlc was because they ross a third presidential election in a row. i think for the republican party to really shift they need to have mother round of self-reflection. >> another defeat. >> they do. it's not going to be one person, one charismatic leader that can totally shift this party out of where it is right now. >> i don't know. i think demographically, if you cannot win the argument on the pure science, blind -- >> embryology.
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>> the blind theory of demographics in that this will at least move the needle a little bit and you start saying the things that you do. this is the other piece, right? the rhetoric, the republican rhetoric around rat evenos, arpt minorities, is so divisive that even if they don't get the bill passed -- well, this at the don't get the bill passed that, would be a bad thing for them. in the process the language and debate may be so destructive that it may take them even further back. >> their goal is not to ever win a majority of hispanic latino votes. it's too lose less badly. it's to go up from 30%, 20% to maybe 35% or 40%. george bush had. my hunch is that it's more like what happened in 1932 when the roosevelt coalition was made significantly with immigrants, significantly with the catholic immigrants, the jews who finally were brought together in this extraordinary coalition that not only elected roosevelt several
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times, but became the powerful 20th century democratic coalition. >> that is not good news to some republicans. >> bad news for republicans. >> and glen beck who has pocket fulz of confetti and some kind of living -- >> yeah. >> okay. moving on. oh, no. "time magazine" ranna has to leave us. thank you for joining us. what a segue. an ill-fated bachelor party, pythons and mobsters, and we're not even talking about capitol hill. author and pull et ceteraer prize winner dave barry joins us for a discussion about the new book and the bizarre state of florida just ahead.
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the protagonist in dave barry's nuf novel "insane city" is seth weinstein, a man who works at a large beltway public relations firm, where he is assigned to the social media mobileization team, which sounded a lot more impressive than what the team members call themselves. naemly tweet whores. his job was to try to generate buzz for clients by posting facebook updates and sending out enthusiastic tweets under various twitter screen names. he had tweeted enthusiastically about a wide range of products, including forklifts, energy bars, and douche. he was paid a sally in the low thirds, augmented by incentive bonuses based on total followers, retweets, et cetera. it amounted to $20, which is why he met tina, he was still living with his parents. the novel is classic dave barry,
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filled with absurdities and comic twists written about w a eye trained on american society in the early 21st century and most especially on the state of florida. it is the 38th book by barry, the pulitzer prize winning humanorist mn for his nationally syndicated column for "the miami herald." i am pleased to welcome dave barry. sfoo that was a long introduction. >> we really try and -- it's done. you can leave now. dave, you -- there are many things that we want to talk about with you. >> can i say to social media professional community, i have -- since this came out, i have gotten some angry social media comments from people -- >> well, you won't after this show. >> who are professionals in the field, and they feel that i have served slight -- >> undermined their existence. >> i have nothing but their deepest respect for tweeters. >> i want to reiterate that. we love our social media followers. >> love them to death.
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>> they do not call themselves -- >> they don't. i love them too, and i want to have sex with them. i don't quite have any more fights with them. i want to make up with them. >> it's all love. dave, let's talk about the novel takes place for the most part in florida which we often talk about politically as a crazy place. socially it's a crazy place. you moved there. you're a new york native. you moved there. you said i moved here in 1986 from the united states, and i have come to really love it here. it's true. florida is a different place. >> it's really different. you know, politically bizarre, really bizarre spshgs my argument has been for a while -- we have 27 electoral votes, and we should just give them to somebody else. give them to some responsible, like wyoming. some state that would be able to -- we had in our last last detection -- i'm sure you aare aware of this -- president obama had already declared victory, and mitt romney had conceded defeat, and we still had people in miami waiting in line to vote.
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we're thinking vote for what? maybe we should start the 2016 election right now. maybe we'll get it done in time. i don't know. >> exactly. >> you also elect governors again and again who just seem like preposterous grifters. >> we've never had a normal governor. it's going to be rick scott, who is basically a lizard. let's be honest, against charlie krist, who is a traffic cone. charlie krist could be anything tomorrow. right now i think he is a democrat. >> shape shifter. >> for the satirical and comic possibilities, you're rooting for a president rubio, right? >> marco is our man now. yeah. we're going to have the first teenage president. >> but, dave, you are also in -- you were in miami for the tampa convejs, and i will -- >> that was actually in tampa. that's why we called it the tampa convention. >> a real synchronicity. >> this is the last place where anybody should attempt to nominate somebody for president. nevertheless, as i write these words, tampa is the site of a massive convention gathering featuring thousands of delegates, party leaders, media
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people, protesters, hookers, random lunatics, and donald trump. >> he didn't make it. i was kind of disappointed. donald trump didn't actually make it to that. were you folks all at the tampa -- >> none of us were. we were barred from entering the state of florida. >> msnbc is not allowed to -- you don't get -- well, it was a fun fest, a wacky fun test gop style. >> did you feel like it made sense that this modern it rags of the republican party, the same party that character assassinates candidates would choose a place like tampa as the headquarters for their convention? >> during a hurricane and -- what really made it fun was there was -- you couldn't walk ten feet bout encountering many, many, many people wearing riot gear. there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of armed people in the streets, and there were, like, three protesters who were under control, trust me, when i say. >> did any of that absurdity filter its way into the new
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book? >> i finished this book before i went to tampa for the convention, but miami, which is my hometown and a truly insane place, that is the big part of the book. >> and can i ask just because of the premise, there is a messing wedding ring and a lot of hijenks related to a wedding? >> it gets in the possession of a or range tang. who can say it hasn't happened? come ownering guys. >> some of my best friends. >> and so this orangatang gets ahold of the wedding ring, and that becomes a big problem for the groom, as you might imagine, but not nearly the biggest problem. he also has haitian immigrants living in his suite, in his hotel room. >> which is a problem that many florida i haddians can -- >> something we deal with here a lot at "now with alex wagner." i can't believe i just said my name at the end of the show. at "now." >> you have your own mugs and everything. you made it, girl.
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>> you're here. the book, again america, is insane city author -- >> do we get to keep the mugs? >> you do get to keep the mugs. >> thanks to our pablist curt anderson, chris smith, and richard wolf. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific. andrea mitchell reports is coming up next. ounds ] ♪ [ watch ticking ] [ engine revs ] come in. ♪ got the coffee. that was fast. we're outta here. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪
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